03.03.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 3/3/2022: Mozilla’s DRM Ads and New From Banana Pi

Posted in News Roundup at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Shadow stacks for user space [LWN.net]

        The call stack is a favorite target for attackers attempting to compromise a running process; if an attacker finds a way to overwrite a return address on the stack, they can redirect control to code of their choosing, leading to a situation best described as “game over”. As a result, a great deal of effort has gone into protecting the stack. One technique that offers promise is a shadow stack; support for shadow stacks is thus duly showing up in various processors. Support for protecting user-space applications with shadow stacks is taking a bit longer; it is currently under discussion within the kernel community, but adding this feature is trickier than one might think. Among other things, these patches have been around for long enough that they have developed some backward-compatibility problems of their own.

      • Thoughts on software-defined silicon [LWN.net]

        People are attracted to free software for a number of reasons, including price, overall quality, community support, and available features. But, for many of us, the value of free software is to be found in its ability to allow us to actually own and maintain control over our systems. Antifeatures in free software tend not to last long, and free drivers can often unlock capabilities of the hardware that its vendors may not have seen fit to make available. Intel’s upcoming “software defined silicon” (SDSi) mechanism may reduce that control, though, by taking away access to hardware features from anybody who has not paid the requisite fees.

        SDSi is a “feature” that is expected to make an appearance in upcoming Intel processors. Its purpose is to disable access to specific processor capabilities in the absence of a certificate from Intel saying otherwise. As the enabling patch set from David Box makes clear, the interface to the mechanism itself is relatively simple. It appears as a device on the bus that offers a couple of operations: install an “authentication key certificate” or a “capability activation payload”. The certificate is used to authenticate any requests to enable features, while the payload contains the requests themselves. Unless this device has been used to store an acceptable certificate and payload, the features that it governs will be unavailable to software running on that CPU.

        The SDSi hardware also maintains a couple of counters that track the number of unsuccessful attempts that have been made to load a certificate or enable a feature. Should either counter exceed a threshold, the mechanism will be disabled entirely; the only way to get it back will be to power-cycle the processor. Presumably, the intent here is to thwart attempted brute-force attacks against the SDSi gatekeeper.

        Intel is clear enough about the purpose behind this new mechanism. SDSi will enable shipping CPUs with features that may be of interest to users, but which are unavailable unless additional payments are made. The restricted capabilities will be present on all shipped CPUs, but the customers, who might have thought that they own their expensive processors, will not be able to use their systems to their fullest capability without add-on (and perhaps recurring) payments to the vendor.

      • A last look at the 4.4 stable series [LWN.net]

        Linus Torvalds released the 4.4 kernel on January 10, 2016 and promptly left the building for the greener fields of 4.5. This kernel was finished from his point of view, but it was just beginning its life in the wider world, and became the first long-term-stable release to be supported for more than two years. Indeed, the 4.4 release became one of the longest-supported and most widely used releases in the history of the kernel project (so far); it was deployed in vast numbers of Android devices, among other places. The final 4.4 stable release took place on February 3, over six years after 4.4 was “finished”; it is time to take a look at what happened to 4.4 in its stable life.
        There were 302 stable updates released for 4.4 over the 2,216 days of its supported life — approximately one release per week for the entire six years. Those releases added 18,974 non-merge changesets to that “stable” kernel (about 8.6 patches per day, every day). By virtue of that work, the 4.4 kernel grew by nearly 90,000 lines of code; 72 new source files were added during that time.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install PyBrain Python Library in Linux

        PyBrain is an open-source Machine Learning library for Python that aims at providing easy-to-use yet flexible and robust algorithms for handling machine learning tasks. In case you didn’t know, PyBrain is short for Python-Based Reinforcement Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Neural Network Library.

        PyBrain is licensed under the BSD Sofware license and is completely free to download and use for everyone. In this guide, we will show you how you can install PyBrain on your Linux system so that you can leverage the algorithms in your Python project.

      • How to Install WonderCMS on Ubuntu 20.04 (With Nginx)

        WonderCMS is a CMS focused on simplicity of use without sacrificing functionality. Thanks to this it is a CMS easy to use and configure, but above all it is very fast and efficient.

        One of the most important features of WonderCMS is that it does not require a database driver. So, you can use it in many circumstances.

        So let’s go for it and by the way, we will use Nginx as a web server and increase the performance of the web.

      • Easily Run Windows Software on Linux with Bottles

        Wine, which is short for Wine is Not an Emulator, is the flagship open-source compatibility layer available within the Linux ecosystem – or generally POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) compliant – for Windows applications. A decent open source project has been established with the primary goal of ensuring the long-term potential of Windows on Linux.

        Considering the continuous development of the platform, Wine has become instrumental in helping Windows users, especially those new to Linux to transition to a Linux-based operating system as their daily driver.

        However, it hasn’t had a lot of success due to the incompatibility with some Windows applications that may arise and as a result, many are often left disappointed as they usually expect a smooth experience as they had on Windows which is no further from the truth.

        For what it’s worth, these apps have their unique dependencies that Wine may not be able to satisfy and this is where Bottles comes in.

      • Solve Error: Error establishing a database connection WordPress

        After reading this tutorial, you will learn how to check your database name, username, and password and change them within the WordPress configuration file and your server settings.

        All instructions in this WordPress tutorial include screenshots, making it easy for all users to follow the steps described.

      • What is DKMS in Linux

        DKMS or Dynamic Kernel Module Support is a system that allows discrete kernel modules to update without the need to modify the entire kernel. It is free software under GPL v2 and written by Dell’s Linux Engineering Team. DKMS was initially developed for Dell Computer Corporation to distribute software patches to their customers in a well-defined manner.

      • Solve “Error: Your php installation appears to be missing the mysql extension, which is required by wordpress.”

        This WordPress tutorial explains how to solve the error: “Your php installation appears to be missing the mysql extension which is required by wordpress.”
        After reading this tutorial, you’ll know how to solve this problem using different methods. Users may choose to use Cpanel or FTP for some steps; both ways are explained below.

        This article includes screenshots, making it easy for all WordPress users to follow the steps described.

      • How to solve the Error: “Wordpress briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.”

        This brief tutorial explains how to solve the error message “Wordpress briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. check back in a minute.”.

        The article includes screenshots for each described step, making it easy for all WordPress-level users to follow the instructions.

        After reading it, you will know how to get your site back from maintenance mode. You will also learn how to customize the maintenance mode page and prevent this from happening again.

      • Solve Error: Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security

        This WordPress tutorial explains how to solve the error message “Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security”.
        After reading this article, you will know how to check if your file is supported and add file extension exceptions that allow new file types.

        All instructions explained in this tutorial include screenshots for all WordPress level users to be able to apply them easily.

      • How Do I Use Let’s Encrypt on Synology?

        Let’s Encrypt is a free certificate authority (CA). They issue SSL certificates for your domain name for free.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to generate a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and use it on your Synology NAS. So, let’s get started.

    • Games

      • SteamOS 3.0 Recovery Image for Steam Deck Now Available for Download

        The official SteamOS 3.0 recovery image for the Steam Deck is now available for download along with detailed instructions on how to flash it and the various recovery options available for performing various maintenance tasks on the gaming device.

        One thing to note here is the fact that this isn’t the SteamOS 3.0 image you’ve all been waiting for. This is just a recovery image for Steam Deck owners in case they want to perform a full factory reset, reformats the home partitions, make changes to the boot partition, or reinstall SteamOS on the Steam Deck.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Freespire: Freespire 8.2 Released

          Today, the Freespire development team is pleased to announce the release of Freespire 8.2, the latest incremental release for our FOSS product line.

          With a broad application lineup ready for our users, Freespire 8.2 is the logical continuation of a great desktop product. Aside from updates, we have listened to our users and made several changes. Most noticeably, we have switched from the GNOME desktop environment to the latest LTS of Plasma KDE, 5.18.8. Additionally, many of our users have requested them, so we have included the full range of multimedia codecs for our users to consume / create content in whatever format they like.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • As the tide goes out at Mozilla, they now run full page Disney ads on their Web site. – BaronHK’s Rants

            Mozilla is now running full screen ads for Disney movies.

            It gets worse. At the bottom of the page it has “stickers”, including one that says “I love Indie Tech”.

            Yes, Firefox is very Indie. They rely on $500 million search deals with Google for 90% of their funding, and put ads, crapware, and alerts for a VPN that they rebranded into the browser, and they license DRM software….from Google, which you are obviously not allowed to have source code for, and which is impossible to license if you actually are an independent Web browser.

            (I don’t even think that LibreWolf got a license from Google for Widevine. I think they just lie and download it claiming to be Firefox.)

          • [Tor] New Alpha Release: Tor Browser 11.5a5 (Android)

            Tor Browser 11.5a5 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • [Derek Sivers] Generate unique random values directly in the database

          The chance of random clash is very small. But you need to be completely sure that the new random string is unique — not already existing in that column in that table. So here’s a function where you give it the string length, table name, and column name. It will return a random string confirmed to be unique — to not exist there already. It gets a random string, searches for it in that table and column, and if not found, returns it. Otherwise, if it is found, gets a new random string and loops back, trying again until not found.

      • Programming/Development

        • Scala vs. Java Compared

          Scala and Java are both very popular high-level languages used in the modern world of programming. However, Scala was specially designed to cater to the shortcomings of Java. In particular, it is designed to be compact and concise so that the programmer needs to write a minimal amount of code. Both these languages have their own areas of expertise and use-cases. Therefore, it will be really nice to draw a thorough comparison between them. In this guide, we will compare Scala and Java with each other by talking about their main features, highlighting the key differences between the two programming languages, followed by the advantages and disadvantages of both.

        • Scala Flatmap

          We have already talked about the usage of maps in Scala. Therefore, today, we will try to move one step further by introducing you to a very useful function of the Scala programming language, i.e., FlatMap. You might want to convert a different data structure to a map at times. Additionally, you might also want to flatten this map, i.e., separate out the elements of this map in the form of distinct characters. In this guide, we will be talking about the FlatMap method of the Scala programming language that will help us convert a given data structure to a map while flattening its output.

        • Scala Collect Method

          The Scala programming language has many useful built-in functions that you can use for performing complex programming problems. Additionally, these functions also help you carry out routine tasks very efficiently. This guide will teach you about the Collect method of the Scala programming language and its usage on the Ubuntu 20.04 system.

        • Scala Case Class

          The Case class in Scala is pretty much like a regular Scala class but with some additional functionality. The objects of this class can be instantiated even without using the “new” keyword. Moreover, we can conveniently copy one object of the Case class to another entirely or even while changing some of the values of some of the attributes of this class. This article will be dedicated to using the Case class in Scala.

        • Scala Append to list

          Scala is becoming a high-level programming language as it is concise object-oriented and has different functional programming languages. A critical distinct about these functional languages from a structure base is that we cannot add, modify, or alter any change in them as functions are immutable, specific to a Scala list. This section of the article will introduce and demonstrate the most common ways and methods to append in the Scala list.

        • How to Square a Number in C++

          C++ is used to write the bulk of game libraries. The extension of a C++ file is “.cc” or “.cpp.” It’s a high-level as well as a low-level language. C++ was created with a focus on systems programming, embedded, resource-constrained software, and big systems in mind, with performance, efficiency, and usage flexibility as design goals. C++ is also effective in various situations, having particular strengths in software infrastructure and resource-constrained applications such as desktop apps, video games, servers (such as online e-commerce search).

          When we square a number, we simply multiply it by itself. We have to utilize a header file if we want to get a square of a number. Header files allow us to declare a function with a type placeholder that the compiler will fill in at compile-time based on how the function is used.

        • Is C++ Hard to Learn?

          In the field of programming, from browsers to robots, the C++ language is the core part of all the software and modern languages. That is a technique if you want to learn the C++ programming language. C++ is ascended from a language called C programming language, a famous low-level language. It was established by multiple users. Low-level programming language means a language that is very near and familiar to the computer’s hardware but difficult to understand for humans. Also, this is abstract from the assembly language.

          C++ was founded in 1979; at that time, it was called C with classes, and the goal was to merge the low-level features of C with the object-oriented high-level programming language. The replacement of C was called C++, with the incremental operator established in C. From that time, C++ has advanced into an important language for the development of applications that depend on speed processing power, such as autonomous devices, the internet of things, and video games.

        • Warning: control reaches end of non-void function

          When we write the programs in C++. After executing programs, sometimes we get the error: ‘warning: control reaches the end of non-void function’, which means that certain functions that would have to return some values attain the termination. It might not give any value later. At this time, it is good to take a look at whether or not every control flow contains a return value. To recognize this fault, we first must recognize the working of the compiler.

        • Philip Chimento: Comparing Apples and AppleOranges

          I’m happy with how Temporal encourages the programmer to handle these cases. When I went to try out the comparisons that were suggested in the original tweet, I found it was natural to pick either PlainDate or PlainDateTime to represent the data.

          One thing that Temporal could have done instead (and in fact, we went back and forth on this a few times before the proposal reached its currently frozen stage in the JS standardization process) would be to make the choice of data type, and therefore of comparison semantics, more explicit.

        • [MKWS] mkws.sh statistics
        • [SequoiaPGP] sq stakeholders interviews: summary

          Last month I was looking for volunteers to be interviewed as stakeholders for sq. The interviews happened last week and this is an anonymized summary of what I was told. I promised to make the summary anonymous to let the volunteers speak more freely.

          I didn’t have a fixed list of questions. Instead, we had somewhat free-form discussions about using cryptography in general, OpenPGP in particular, practices around exchanging and authenticating certificates (public keys), and related topics.

        • Python

          • Moving Python’s bugs to GitHub [LWN.net]

            Over the past seven years or so, Python has slowly been moving its development infrastructure to GitHub; we covered some of the early discussions at the end of 2014. One piece of that infrastructure, bug tracking, has not been moved from bugs.python.org, but plans are underway to make that happen soon. It is not a simple or straightforward process to do so, however, so the transition will take up to a week to complete; there are a number of interesting facets to the switch, as it entails clearing some technical, and even legal, hurdles.

          • Python support for regular expressions [LWN.net]

            Regular expressions are a common feature of computer languages, especially higher-level languages like Ruby, Perl, Python, and others, for doing fairly sophisticated text-pattern matching. Some languages, including Perl, incorporate regular expressions into the language itself, while others have classes or libraries that come with the language installation. Python’s standard library has the re module, which provides facilities for working with regular expressions; as a recent discussion on the python-ideas mailing shows, though, that module has somewhat fallen by the wayside in recent times.

          • Tkinter Radiobutton

            Tkinter radio button widget adds a multiple-choice button and permits the user to pick only one option from a list. Each set of radiobuttons must be associated with the same variable, and each button must represent a single value. To transition from one radionbutton to another, press the Tab key.

          • Tkinter Change Label Text

            Text or a picture can be shown on the screen using the Tkinter label widgets. Only one typeface can be displayed on a label. Multiple lines of text are possible. A label can include any text, and a window can contain many labels (just like any widget can be displayed multiple times in a window). You can easily change/update the Python Tkinter label text with the label text property. Changing the label’s text property is another way to change the Tkinter label text. This lesson will look at modifying label text when a button is clicked in Tkinter Python.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • [Techdirt] Cities Are Turning To Automation To Enforce Vehicle Noise Ordinances

      Automated enforcement may ease the burden on law enforcement agencies and direct more officers towards serious crime, but nearly every device given that job has tended to perform poorly. Red light and speed enforcement cameras often get things wrong while simultaneously depriving falsely accused drivers of the opportunity to confront their accusers. And, because cities directly benefit from issued tickets, city officials have tinkered with things like yellow light timing to increase the number of tickets handed out.

    • 3D Printed Shoes Make Bigfoot Tracks | Hackaday

      [Stephan Henrich] is probably going to set off a wave of bigfoot sightings if his new shoe, the Cryptide sneaker takes off. The shoe is completely 3D printed in flexible TPE using a laser sintering printer from Sintratec. The shoe takes a name from cryptozoology and, in fact, would leave a puzzling footprint due to its articulated toes and scaly-looking sole.

      Judging from the look of the sole, it should be pretty cushy and we presume if you were 3D printing these, you’d scan or precisely measure the intended foot for a perfect fit. You can see a video about the shoe below.

      The entire shoe is made from a single material, but different parts of the shoes have different degrees of stiffness created by varying the thickness of the TPE. Apparently, Sintratec is really into shoes since they also are showcasing the Earth Moc by [Daniel Shirley]. We wondered why they didn’t print a second shoe for the guy at the start of that video.

    • Hardware

      • The Return Of SCSI | Hackaday

        There was a time when high-performance disk drives used SCSI — the Small Computer System Interface — and everything else was kid stuff. Now, advanced forms of SCSI are still around but there are other high-performing disk interfaces, too. But some old gear really loves their classic SCSI ports, and [Adrian] decided to try hooking some of them up to some modern computers. You can see how he did in the video below.

        The key to the attempt is a USB to SCSI adapter which was unusual but not unheard of, and [Adrian] came across one from 1999. Of course, you have to wonder if a modern computer will support the device or will be able to load the drivers from the old CD.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • [Orac] Mark Sircus: MMS (bleach) for COVID “vaccine-induced cancer”

        When last I encountered Mark Sircus, who is an acupuncturist, practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, and the director of the International Medical Veritas Association, it was in the context of discussions of the violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement, with an article by Sircus from 2011 serving as one of the earlier examples that I had written about of an antivaxxer saying, “string the bastards up.” According to Sircus, the “bastards” whom he wanted to string up were the “doctors in white coats” who were injecting “poisonous heavy metals into babies.” (Unsurprisingly, the article is no longer on his website, which is why I had to link to an Archive.org Wayback Machine version of it.) More recent encounters with Sircus involved his selling an e-book advocating “natural allopathic medicine” (whatever that meant) to treat Ebola and pH quackery for cancer that he called “voltage healing.” He’s still touting “Natural Allopathic Medicine“—now capitalized!—for “cancer, heart and kidney disease, diabetes as well as for neurological conditions like Autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases,” (because of course he is)

      • [Common Dreams] Warren Demands Big Pharma End ‘Corporate Price Gouging’

        U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a dozen of her colleagues in Congress took aim at Big Pharma on Tuesday over “troubling price increases for brand-name drugs in January 2022.”

        The lawmakers’ letter to Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), highlights the findings of two new analyses and declares that “Congress and the public deserve an explanation for how manufacturers have made these seemingly inexplicable pricing decisions.”

      • [The Verge] TikTok faces investigation into its impact on young people’s mental health

        TikTok has struggled in the past to meet the needs of its younger users — it had to pay $5.7 million to the FTC in 2019 to settle accusations that its predecessor, Musical.ly, didn’t get proper permission from the parents of young children who signed up to use the app. The settlement also required TikTok to strictly limit how users under 13 could interact with content on the app. Recently, some researchers sounded the alarm about how few studies there were that looked into TikTok’s potential health impacts, despite its massive user base.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • [Krebs On Security] Conti Ransomware Group Diaries, Part II: The Office [Ed: Windows TCO]

          Earlier this week, a Ukrainian security researcher leaked almost two years’ worth of internal chat logs from Conti, one of the more rapacious and ruthless ransomware gangs in operation today. Tuesday’s story examined how Conti dealt with its own internal breaches and attacks from private security firms and governments. In Part II of this series we’ll explore what it’s like to work for Conti, as described by the Conti employees themselves.

        • [Silicon Angle] Following cyberattack on supplier, Toyota halts production in Japan [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Toyota Motor Corp. has been forced to halt manufacturing operations at all of its plants in Japan after a cyberattack struck a major component supplier.

          The attack targeted Kojima Industries Corp., a maker of interior and exterior automotive parts. The exact form of attack was not disclosed but is suspected to be ransomware. Nikkei Asia reported that Kojima said this morning local time that it had received a message demanding a ransom and that it had confirmed the existence of a virus.

        • [CNN] Cyberattack on Toyota’s supply chain shuts its 14 factories in Japan for 24 hours [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Reports of the powerful malware Emotet being used have increased since the first week of February, according to the Japan Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center, which provides information on cybersecurity.

          Emotet is used to gain access to a victim’s computer before then downloading additional malicious software, such as those designed to steal banking passwords, or ransomware which can lock a computer until an extortion fee is paid.

        • [Computer Weekly] Toyota production to resume after supply chain attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The attack took place against the systems of Kojima Industries, which is contracted to supply plastics and electronic components to Toyota. According to Reuters, the firm found an error on a file server on Saturday 26 February. Following a reboot, it found malware, and a “threatening message”, which may indicate it has fallen victim to a ransomware attack.

        • Internxt: Conserv Your Files and Photos in Total Privacy and Security [Ed: Internxt seems to be paying sites to promote its junk, some proprietary software which falsely promises security. Best thing is, save locally, not buzzwords like "Web 3".]

          Linux users have plenty of options when it is about cloud services. Most people use only a few popular storages like Dropbox, pCloud, etc. But there are some newly invented cloud services available that don’t compromise with privacy and security issues anyway. Internxt is one of them, and it has already placed a mark on the list of the best-encrypted cloud services for its best-in-class security and encryption system.

          After learning about the top-notch features of this open source cloud service, I planned to give it a try on my Ubuntu system. And finally, I am here to share my experience of using this app. So, let me introduce you to Internxt first.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • [EFF] Victory! San Francisco Mayor Withdraws Harmful Measure Against Surveillance Oversight Law

              The mayor and the San Francisco Police Department recently used public fears of crime as justification to introduce the proposed ballot initiative, which would have created massive exceptions to the ordinance’s requirement that police get permission from democratically elected Supervisors before using or acquiring any new surveillance technology. Breed specifically wanted to allow police unilateral authority to access networks of surveillance cameras that they had previously used, without Board approval, to spy on protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Several members of the Board of Supervisors countered this initiative by offering their own ballot measure, which would have strengthened, rather than undermined, the surveillance oversight ordinance. Now that the mayor has pulled her ballot initiative, the Supervisors have done the same.

              This is a great victory for the people of San Francisco, who increasingly realize that when police are given more and more power to surveil the public, it is people of color, the unhoused, immigrants, and activists who most often bear the brunt. This victory would not have been possible without the diverse and engaged coalition of dedicated San Francisco citizens and activists who wrote to the mayor, called into Board of Supervisors meetings, and made their concerns heard.

              EFF and the rest of the coalition will remain vigilant in the event that the police, mayor, or any other entity attempts to roll back the progress we’ve made in creating a San Francisco that is welcoming to all people. 

            • [IT Wire] ABC iview logins may raise suspicion of privatisation, says privacy body

              APF chair David Vaile and deputy chair Dr Juanita Fernando [below, right] said in the letter, which was released on the organisation’s website on Wednesday, that forcing users to log in to use a service which contained content they had paid for was creating “a non-voluntary online identification scheme of the kind typically justified as supporting the sale of mass psychographic profiling ‘insights’ to a platform’s advertisers”.

              The ABC announced the compulsory logins in a statement on 17 February, claiming that it would collect user data but would not sell the same. However, the data will be shared with both Google and Facebook.

            • [The Verge] Twitter may be adding a built-in podcasts tab

              Recorded Spaces are already a bit like podcasts, albeit only temporary ones, which only last 30 days. If a Twitter podcast feature is anything like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, users would be able to choose from and listen to podcasts at their leisure, with no rush to catch a live Spaces broadcast or listen to recordings before time runs out.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • [Counter Punch] Testing New Weapon Systems: Meaning of the Russian Military Intervention into Ukraine

        This boast of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, in 2019, with respect to the hypersonic weapons capacity of the Russian Federation provides one of the back stories for understanding the present conflagration that has escalated in the Ukraine theater of the European war. The Russian capabilities in relation to Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) warfare along with the cyberweapons have never been tested in an all-out military/information/financial confrontation. The entanglement of non-nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and their enabling capabilities is exacerbating the risk of a global war, especially in the face of the US fear of the closer technological and financial cooperation between China and Russia. The Ukraine invasion and the escalation of that war has brought to the forefront the questions of disarmament so that both the leaders of NATO and the leaders of the Russian Federation do not bring humanity to the brink of violence and deaths that will come out of a protracted war.

        Numerous press reports have drawn attention to the reality that the United States is threatened by international opposition to the weaponization of the dollar. Drawing from the drip drip story of World War 1, this analysis argues that the progressive forces and peace elements internationally must equip themselves with the knowledge of the information warfare that is being waged by both NATO and the Russian Federation in a war between two distinct branches of global capitalism. It is imperative that sober elements in the world intervene before this adventure in Ukraine metastasizes into a greater tragedy for all humanity. The conclusion will draw from the lessons of Rosa Luxemburg and those anti militarists who fought for a new social system and who fought for the acceleration of the self-determination projects internationally. The capitalists in Russia are just as racists, homophobic and Islamophobic as the white supremacist elements of France, Hungary, Poland, Britain, Germany, Ukraine and the United States. A progressive left opposition to the Russian war in Ukraine must be linked to the anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggles in the world.

      • [Common Dreams] Analysis: Nuclear Disaster in Ukraine Could Make Swaths of Europe ‘Uninhabitable for Decades’

        The international environmental group Greenpeace warned Wednesday that Russia’s intensifying assault is placing Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities under serious threat, risking devastation “far worse even than the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe of 2011.”

        “For the first time in history, a major war is being waged in a country with multiple nuclear reactors and thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel.”

      • [Counter Punch] The USA Sees Russia’s Operation in Ukraine as Blessing in Disguise: Does China See it as Blessing for Military Action Against Taiwan?

        Every country in the NATO military alliance is providing billions in anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the Ukrainians (of course, every country in the NATO alliance is owned by the United States which has recently coughed up $850 million for the cause). Along with those weapons the alliance has nodded its approval to the world’s mercenaries to descend on Ukraine getting free passage into Western Ukraine and transit through countries who directly border Ukraine. Privatemilitary.org lists all the private military contractors who are likely exploring their options in Ukraine.

        It is also great news for the West’s defense contractors who manufacture anti-tank/aircraft, small arms, landmines, grenades, artillery, radios; in short, billions in profits will be earned off the war in eastern Ukraine: there never seems to be a downside to their businesses.

      • [TruthOut] Nigerian Student Fleeing War Describes Rampant Racism Against Africans at Border
      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | JFK’s Advice to Joe Biden in Tough Times

        Dear Mr. President:

      • [Common Dreams] Across Ukraine, Civilians Rise Up to Face Down Russian Army

        As Russia intensifies its deadly assault on Ukraine, civilians throughout the country are putting their lives on the line to slow the advance of invading troops and tanks.

        “You can see videos or reports of people protesting, people blocking roads, and people calling on soldiers to leave.”

      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | How We are Fighting the War Machine Locally

        Imperialism is a large issue to take on as student activists. We sometimes feel like we only have access to small levers at the city level, and then even smaller levers at the university to enact change. For anti-war groups like mine in Chicago, we’ve had to get creative about how we address imperialism locally. For us, it has meant taking on war profiteers in our own city.

      • [The Nation] Media Malpractice and Information War in Ukraine

        As much of the world rallies behind Ukrainians defending their country against a Russian invasion, mainstream news outlets and social media in the United States and elsewhere have been awash in tales of Ukrainian heroism. The Ukrainian defense against a much larger force has indeed been inspiring, but all conflicts include informational warfare—from all sides. Some of the most widely shared images and stories of Ukrainian resistance have fallen apart under scrutiny or in the face of subsequent reporting, yet many who are rightly skeptical of Russian claims are displaying very little caution about pronouncements from the other side, leading to a wave of credulous media coverage that serves to propagandize more than illuminate.

      • [The Nation] The Riddle of Zoomer Politics

        Young people today “can be this century’s ‘Greatest Generation,’” according to pollster John Della Volpe, who predicts that Generation Z “will change America more than growing up in America will change them.” Gen Z, by his estimation, is so politically powerful that he credits them with Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat; they’re also “why Mitch McConnell is no longer Senate majority leader.” They are singularly dedicated to change—no other age group can compare: “Never before has a generation been so devoted to serving justice and solving the underlying issues that hold so many in America back from pursuing their best lives.”

      • [Democracy Now] Filipino Scholar Walden Bello on Why the Global South Is Suspicious of U.S. Motives in Ukraine War

        We speak with acclaimed Filipino scholar and activist Walden Bello on the Global South’s response to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Bello says there’s hesitation from many world leaders to take an active role in the crisis, arguing that there is a lack of explicit national interests and a general suspicion the U.S. provoked the invasion to take advantage of the subsequent backlash against Russia. He says people in the Global South realize that ever since the Soviet Union fell apart, ”NATO and the U.S. tried to take advantage of it in an aggressive eastward expansion of NATO right onto the countries that would border the Soviet Union.” Bello also expresses fear the U.S. may try to stoke tensions with China over Taiwan, saying, “China’s not interested at this point in any sort of military conflict that would jeopardize what is its big reputation right now of peaceful economic diplomacy.”

      • [Democracy Now] As Biden Touts Anti-Russia Response in SOTU, U.S. Remains Addicted to Fossil Fuels That Drive War

        We discuss President Biden’s first State of the Union address with Jacobin magazine’s Branko Marcetic, who says Biden should have focused more of his speech on laying out goals to reach renewable energy independence since the continued reliance by the U.S. on the oil and gas reserves of countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia gives those countries “relative freedom” to commit war crimes on the world stage. He says the task ahead is to “both avoid military escalation” and “try and get a ceasefire agreed to as soon as possible.” Marcetic’s latest piece is headlined “Four Ways to Counter Russian Aggression That Don’t Risk Nuclear War.”

      • [TruthOut] AOC Says US Should Treat All Asylum Seekers How We Treat Ukrainian Refugees
      • [Common Dreams] ‘The World Is With Us,’ Says Zelenskyy After UN Members Vote to Condemn Putin Invasion

        The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nonbinding resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops from the country.

        Voting took place during the General Assembly’s first emergency meeting since 1997.

      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | Will Ukraine Be the Graveyard of Putinism?

        The last surviving member of the International Brigades that fought the fascists in Spain in the 1930s died last year at the age of 101. Josep Almudéver Mateu, born in France, remembered going into battle without any ammunition for his gun. Five kilometers into his march to the front, he was finally able to cadge 10 bullets. It was nowhere near enough. Wounded and then forced underground, Mateu ended up spending three years in Spanish concentration camps and prisons. The fascists, led by Francisco Franco, went on to rule the country for nearly four decades.

      • [Counter Punch] Russian Takeover of Chernobyl Poses Grave Health Threat

        For the first time, a war is being fought in a nation with nuclear power reactors.

        Ukraine is home to the Chernobyl Reactor No. 4, which underwent a disastrous meltdown in 1986. Although the plant is no longer operating, a massive amount of radioactive waste is contained in a concrete building (called the New Safe Confinement) subsequently built over it.

      • [Counter Punch] Ukraine Maps Tell a Different Story Than Putin’s Claims

        These two maps show how Putin got it wrong, and miscalculated in launching his war against Ukraine. Putin claims that two of his war aims are the “denazification” of Ukraine, and the protection of the Russian-speaking population from far-right Ukrainian ultranationalists.

        Like most “Big Lies,” there is a kernel of truth behind the claims. After the 2014 Maidan revolution, I raised alarms about fascist influence in the Ukraine’s new government, asserting that “the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.”

      • [Counter Punch] How the U.S. Started a Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It

        But there is a more insidious reality at work beneath the surface of this classic morality play, and that is the role of the United States and NATO in setting the stage for this crisis.

        President Biden has called the Russian invasion “unprovoked,” but that is far from the truth. In the four days leading up to the invasion, ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documented a dangerous increase in ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine, with 5,667 violations and 4,093 explosions.

      • [Counter Punch] The Courage of Russian Antiwar Activists is Putting Many Western Leftists to Shame

        Putin is no socialist. His political party, United Russia, is a reactionary and far right, and it dominates the executive branch and the Duma (legislative). He is a classic authoritarian strongman with little tolerance for dissent.

        What is interesting to note is that despite the UR being the dominant political party, communists have been gaining more sympathy in recent years and there is a marked longing for the days of the USSR where at least in its hay day most Russians had reliable work, good educational opportunities, housing, paid holidays and a decent living standard. Today, the poverty rate has been rising steadily while population declines, leaving a lot of elderly Russians in a bad state. And, like the United States, powerful and wealthy oligarchs run the economy to the benefit of their coffers.

      • [Counter Punch] Upending the Global Order

        And on the fourth day of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine Sunday, its president, Vladimir Putin, served notice he had put his nuclear defense forces on high alert because of “aggressive statements” by the West.

        Escalating a conventional conflict to potential nuclear status is not a good sign.Putin is “potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,” a senior U.S. defense official told the Associated Press.

      • [Counter Punch] How the Narcotic of Defense Spending Undermines a Sensible Grand Strategy

        It is no accident that the United States is on the cusp of the Second Cold War.

        Future historians may well view the last 30 years as a case study in the institutional survival of the American Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC), together with its supporting blob now saturating the media, think tanks, academia, and the intelligence community.  Perhaps, these future historians will come also to view the Global War on Terror (GWOT) as the bridging operation that greased the transition to Cold War II by keeping defense budgets at Cold War levels after Cold War I ended.  Also, 9-11 may have re-acclimated the American people to the climate of fear now needed to sustain Cold War II for the remainder of the 21st Century.

      • [Counter Punch] Syria’s War Comes to Ukraine
      • [Mint Press News] It’s Different, They’re White: Media Ignore Conflicts Around the World to Focus on Ukraine

        KIEV, UKRAINE — We are living in dangerous times. All around the world, intense military actions are taking place. Last week alone, Russia launched a huge military invasion of Ukraine; Saudi Arabia carried out dozens of strikes on Yemen; Israel launched a wave of deadly missile attacks against Syria; and the United States restarted its bombing campaign in Somalia.

      • [Mint Press News] Tears for Ukraine, Sanctions for Russia, Yawns for Yemen, Arms for Saudis: The West’s Grotesque Double Standard

        HAJJAH, YEMEN – “We’re brutally bombed every day. So why doesn’t the Western world care like it does about Ukraine?!!… Is it because we don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like Ukrainians?”  Ahmed Tamri, a Yemeni father of four, asked with furrowed brows about the outpouring of international support and media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lack of such a reaction to the war in Yemen.

      • [Democracy Now] “Ukrainians Only”: Nigerian Student Fleeing War Describes Rampant Racism Against Africans at Border

        The United Nations reports more than 800,000 people have fled Ukraine since Russia attacked last week, but many foreign nationals trying to escape have described racist discrimination and abuse, saying they were turned away from buses and at the border, while Ukrainians were welcomed with open arms. We speak with one of the African students who documented their experiences on Twitter with the hashtag #AfricansInUkraine. Nigerian student Alexander Somto Orah says the discriminatory treatment he and other African students faced started at the train station in Kyiv and continued at the border with Poland. “We started protesting and telling them they have to let us go, that this is rubbish. They take in like a hundred Ukrainians and then take in like two Africans. It doesn’t make sense, because there are more Africans there than Ukrainians at the border,” Orah recalls. “So we started pushing, and the police cocked their guns and pointed at us guns and told us that they’re going to shoot us.” Orah eventually made his way to Warsaw and is now helping other students to cross.

      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | My Letter From Kyiv to the ‘Anti-Imperialist Idiots’ in the West

        The following letter, written from Kyiv, Ukraine, was published on February 25, 2022:

      • [Common Dreams] ‘Manifest Violation’ of UN Charter: Amnesty Decries Russia Invasion

        Amnesty International said Tuesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amounted to “a manifest violation of the United Nations Charter” and urged U.N. member states against letting Moscow “push the world closer toward an abyss of violence.”

        “There are long-lasting consequences from this for us all.”

      • [Common Dreams] Russians Fire on Ukraine Civilians Blocking Road to Nuclear Plant

        Video footage from the ground Wednesday showed Russian forces firing on ordinary Ukrainians who were blocking a road with their bodies and makeshift barricades in the town of Enerhodar in an effort to prevent Russian troops from advancing on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power facility in all of Europe.

        Earlier footage posted on social media and circulated by news outlets showed hundreds of residents and plant employees rallying in the street in the eastern Ukraine town in a show of defiance as Russian troops reportedly seized control of the territory surrounding the Zaporizhzhia complex, which contains six of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear energy reactors.

      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | On the Right Side of Ukrainian History

        When I walked to my car on Saturday afternoon, I noticed that my neighbors were displaying a large Ukrainian flag on their front porch. Because the family is of South Asian descent, my assumption was that they probably had no direct stake in Russia’s invasion of the second-biggest country in Europe, but I could be wrong.

      • [Democracy Now] Nonviolence Int’l in Kyiv: Resistance Mounts to Russian Invasion as 2,000 Civilian Deaths Reported

        As a massive Russian military convoy approaches Kyiv while Russia intensifies attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine, we get an update from Andre Kamenshikov, Ukraine director for Nonviolence International in the southern Kyiv suburbs. He says “people are holding out, and I think there is growing confidence that the Russian forces will not be able to take the city.” He also says Russian President Putin is using the threat of NATO as propaganda to increase domestic public support of the war, and discusses why he won’t be taking up arms as a nonviolent activist.

      • [FAIR] Western Media Accuse China of Wanting to Do What US Does to Other Countries

        A flurry of recent newspaper articles have denounced what they describe as Chinese imperialism. Such texts are part of a new Cold War media blitz against China that simultaneously serves US imperialism by blessing it or denying that it exists.

      • [Meduza] A brief history of the Donbas War, in photos American Brendan Hoffman captures eight years of life along the contact line in eastern Ukraine

        War came to Ukraine’s Donbas region in the spring of 2014, after some residents in the country’s east refused to accept the revolutionary change of power in Kyiv. In April of that year, pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv declared the formation of “people’s republics” independent from Ukraine. Kyiv quickly regained control of Kharkiv, but a full-fledged war broke out in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Russia providing explicit and tacit support to the “people’s republics” — including in the form of material and military aid. The “hot” phase of the conflict formally ended with the signing of the Minsk agreements in February 2015, although clashes and shelling continued. For seven years thereafter, the conflict seemed “frozen” — a common phenomenon in global politics. Throughout this period, American photographer Brendan Hoffman captured both civilians and combatants who found themselves on different sides of the conflict. Meduza shares his snapshots here.

      • [Meduza] ‘We told ourselves it wasn’t shelling’ The early days of Russia’s invasion through the eyes of Odesa’s residents

        Odesa was among the first cities hit on February 24, when Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The city has been continually shelled since the outbreak of hostilities. Prior to announcing the invasion, Vladimir Putin vowed to punish those responsible for the bloodshed at Odesa’s Trade Unions House in 2014. Now, Odesa residents are seeking safety in bomb shelters and are enlisting in territorial defense groups. In a report for Meduza, local journalist Mikhail Shtekel shares stories of the early days of the fighting in Odesa from the people living through it.

      • [Meduza] The war: day six: Photos of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine in Kyiv and Kharkiv

        On the sixth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces intensified their artillery bombardment of Kharkiv and Kyiv. The Ukrainian side reported dozens of civilian casualties. Russian troops continued to encircle Kyiv, while barricades were built in the city and preparations made for its defense. President Volodymyr Zelensky applied for the rapid accession of Ukraine to the European Union, and the heads of eight EU countries called for Ukraine to be a candidate country.   

      • [Meduza] Why no mass protests in Russia? Sociologist Grigory Yudin demonstrated against the invasion and ended up in the hospital. He says we’re living in a new era.

        On February 24, Russia began a war with Ukraine. On that same day, protests broke out all over Russia. It is difficult to call them mass demonstrations in any real sense, although ultimately almost 6,500 people were arrested (in Russia, street gatherings of this type are practically forbidden, with the authorities persecuting even individuals who picket alone). Sociologist Grigory Yudin, too, was arrested and ended up hospitalized following an anti-war protest in Moscow. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter discussed with Yudin why it doesn’t make sense to call protests in Russia “small” — and why he thinks scholars have to take a principled stand.

      • [TruthOut] Prioritize Peace and Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine Over Weapons, Say Analysts
      • [TruthOut] Arms Industry Sees Ukraine Conflict as an Opportunity, Not a Crisis
      • [Hungary] Hungarian opposition protests in front of Russian “spy bank” in Budapest

        Translation by Andrea Horváth Kávai.

      • [Rolling Stone] Oath Keepers Prepared for Bloody Battle at White House to Keep Trump in Office

        The 15-page statement of facts that James signed in relation to his crime alleges that the Oath Keepers were told to prepare for bloodshed at the White House. “In the weeks leading up to January 6, 2021,” the document reads, “Rhodes instructed James and other co-conspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter and use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard or other government actors who might be sent to remove President Trump as a result of the Presidential Election.”

      • [ABC] Oath Keeper is 1st to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy for Jan. 6, will cooperate with prosecutors

        Joshua James, 34, of Arab, Alabama, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy charges on Wednesday as part of deal with prosecutors contingent on his cooperation with the U.S. government in their ongoing prosecution of defendants who were involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

        The plea deal is the first of its kind for a Jan. 6 defendant and comes nearly a year after James was charged with impeding and obstructing Congress’ affirmation of the Electoral College vote in the 2020 presidential election.

      • Tools for Communicating Offline and in Difficult Circumstances

        When things are difficult – maybe there’s been a disaster, or an invasion (this page is being written in 2022 just after Russia invaded Ukraine), or maybe you’re just backpacking off the grid – there are tools that can help you keep in touch, or move your data around. This page aims to survey some of them, roughly in order from easiest to more complex.

        [...]

        Yggdrasil is a self-healing, fully end-to-end Encrypted Mesh Network. It can work among local devices or on the global Internet. It has network services that can egress onto things like Tor, I2P, and the public Internet. Yggdrasil makes a perfect companion to ad-hoc wifi as it has auto peer discovery on the local network.

        I talked about it in more detail in my blog post Make the Internet Yours Again With an Instant Mesh Network.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [Rolling Stone] A Journalist Flees Kharkiv, Leaving Death and Destruction Behind

        Another blast went off further away. “Go, go, go, go!” We piled back into the car, waving for the Telegraph team to take the lead. We followed them out of the city, seemingly driving both too slow and too fast, weaving around potholes. We passed people walking calmly down the street, inured to the shells because they had no choice but to go about their lives. They could not leave with us, the Western press, fleeing from a city that appeared to be on the verge of collapse.

    • Environment

      • [RTL] UN takes ‘historic’ step toward global treaty on plastic trash

        The United Nations on Wednesday agreed to start negotiating a world-first global treaty on plastic pollution in what has been hailed as a watershed moment for the planet.

        Nearly 200 nations at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi unanimously agreed to create an intergovernmental committee to negotiate and finalise a legally binding plastics treaty by 2024.

      • [NBC] Americans agree climate change is an issue — but differ on what to do

        Three-quarters of Americans believe the U.S. ought to participate in international efforts to address climate change, but a majority remain pessimistic about those efforts.

        A Pew Research Center poll published Tuesday found that 53 percent of those surveyed didn’t think the world would avoid climate change’s worst impacts. That grim sentiment cut across party lines.

      • [DeSmog] Leading Climate Research Publisher Helps Fuel Oil and Gas Drilling

        By Amy Westervelt, the Guardian. This article by the Guardian is republished here as part of the global journalism collaboration Covering Climate Now.

      • [DeSmog] Tory MP Leading Net Zero Backlash is Linked to Lobbyist With Hidden Fossil Fuel Interest

        The chair of a campaign by backbench Tory MPs against climate action runs a parliamentary group with a lobbyist who has an undeclared interest in the continued use of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, DeSmog can reveal. 

        Craig Mackinlay runs an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) with Howard Cox, a regular Sun columnist and vocal critic of green transport policies, whose haulage industry-funded FairFuelUK campaign boasts of having kept fuel duty frozen for the past 12 years.

      • [The Revelator] A Historic Chance to Protect America’s Free-Flowing Rivers
      • [Common Dreams] Climate Movement Announces Global Rallies to Demand End of War in Ukraine

        Youth climate movement Fridays for Future announced Wednesday a series of global solidarity strikes to demand an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and denounce fossil fuel-based economic systems they say lead to such wars.

        The first such strikes are slated to take place Thursday, March 3, and have already been scheduled in over 50 cities from Warsaw, Poland to Abuja, Nigeria to Washington, D.C.

      • [Common Dreams] Manchin Floats Watered-Down Bill on Climate, Drug Prices, and Taxes

        Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday signaled that despite sabotaging his party’s Build Back Better bill, he is still open to passing a package that helps combat the climate emergency, lowers prescription drug prices, and reforms the tax code so rich individuals and corporations pay what he called “their fair share.”

        “If Sen. Manchin wants to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, then Democrats should take him up on that offer.”

      • [Common Dreams] Opinion | Conflict and Climate Change: Is This the New Normal?

        The egregious situation that has been inflicted on the people of Ukraine by the kleptocratic egotist Vladimir Putin has provided yet another opportunity for humanity to change course. The man is funded by fossil fuel giant Gazprom, who provide 36% of his budget, and the world clearly needs to end its dependence on petro state authoritarians, including  Saudi Arabia, who are waging a war against Yemen with U.S. oil dollars and western weapons. Unfortunately, in reaction to the Ukraine situation, fossil fuel companies plan to expand production elsewhere to take up the slack from Gazprom when we all know that the answer is a rapid transition to renewables.

      • [Counter Punch] Farmers are Overusing Insecticide-Coated Seeds, with Mounting Harmful Effects on Nature

        Almost every field corn seed planted this year in the United States will be coated with neonicotinoids, the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. So will seeds for about half of U.S. soybeans and nearly all cotton, along with other crops. By my estimate, based on acres planted in 2021, neonicotinoids will be deployed across at least 150 million acres of cropland – an area about the size of Texas.

        Neonicotinoids, among the most effective insecticides ever developed, are able to kill insects at concentrations that often are just a few parts per billion. That’s equivalent to a pinch of salt in 10 tons of potato chips. Compared with older classes of insecticides, they appear to be relatively less toxic to vertebrates, especially mammals.

      • [TruthOut] Youth Climate Activists: Our Answer to War Must Be Radical Exit From Fossil Fuel
      • [Common Dreams] 175 Nations to Agree on ‘Historic’ Plastic Pollution Treaty

        The vast majority of the world’s countries agreed Wednesday to forge a legally-binding global treaty restricting plastic pollution, in a move one official said demonstrated “multilateral cooperation at its best.”

        Negotiators representing 175 nations met over the past week in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss a joint proposal originally presented by Rwandan and Peruvian representatives.

      • [Counter Punch] A Sea of Trouble: Seabed Mining and International Arbitration in Mexico
      • Energy

        • [Copenhagen Post] Nord Stream 2 files for bankruptcy

          The Swiss-based company behind the 75 billion kroner Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has filed for bankruptcy and fired all of its employees following western sanctions, according to Swiss radio broadcaster SRF.

          Nord Stream 2 AG, which is owned by the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, is looking to settle its bankruptcy claims ahead of a US sanction deadline that will bar other entities from dealing with it.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • [Common Dreams] Immigrant Youth Hold Rally Demanding Biden End All Deportations

        A day after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, immigrant youth from across the U.S. rallied outside the White House on Wednesday, demanding an end to all deportations.

        Organized by United We Dream—the largest immigrant youth-led group in the country—activists at the rally drew attention to the president’s failed immigration policies and unveiled a banner acknowledging the over two million people who have been deported or expelled under the Biden administration.

      • [Common Dreams] Tlaib Says Democrats Must Elect ‘Next Generation of Working Class Champions’

        Responding to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, Rep. Rashida Tlaib echoed the president’s own call for new investments in working families, emphasizing that the past year has shown Biden’s “visionary” economic agenda will only be realized if Democrats elect more lawmakers who will prioritize people over corporate profits.

        In his address to Congress, Biden did not mention the stalled Build Back Better Act by name but spoke about the need to cut child care costs for families and extend the expanded Child Tax Credit, pass paid family leave, allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and pass other provisions contained in the bill.

      • [Counter Punch] We’re Being Fed the Same Old “Energy Independence” Scam Again
      • [Counter Punch] War, Peace, Space, and Time

        But these people will be dead. And for no reason. Are the dead really the victors? In whose eyes? We aren’t God. Who could be impressed by Biden and Blinken predicting the war? Where was the effort to prevent it? While Russia is demonstrating imperialism isn’t uniquely American the unique American deceit that persists is that leadership comes with all the power and none of the responsibility.

        There are no victories in war. Only death and destruction. Anyone who sees the Ukrainians as all good and the Russians as all evil ignores that on both sides most people are coerced into risking their lives. All such conflicts come from disagreements between powerful people.

      • [TruthOut] Rashida Tlaib Delivers Progressive Response to Biden’s State of the Union
      • [Counter Punch] Fascism is a Movement, Not Just a Man

        The reasons for the ascent of this element in US politics are arguably many in number, but the essential element in virtually every explanation provided in DiMaggio’s study is white supremacy and the supremacists’ fear of losing it. Demographics make it clear that the United States will be a nation composed of people who do not consider themselves white in a few decades. To put it succinctly: this scares the hell out of many US citizens who do consider themselves white. This element of the population has always had a certain power in US politics. Indeed, it can be safely stated that it is that element that wrote some of the most recalcitrant parts of the US Constitution; recalcitrant because courts have upheld certain racist interpretations of US law more often than otherwise. The consequence of this is that in 2022 civil rights activists find themselves fighting to protect the right of every adult US citizen to vote.

        Yes, a battle that most citizens believed resolved fifty years ago is being fought once again, in large part because the Voting Rights Act that ended restrictions based on skin color and income in the 1960s was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. According to the court, it was no longer needed because people were no longer being prevented from voting based on those reasons. Of course, once the law was invalid, the successors of the white supremacists who passed the legislation struck down by the Voting Rights Act got back to work creating ways to prevent Black voters from voting. They know that curtailing voting rights is the only way they can stay in power and enforce their racist agenda.

      • [Counter Punch] It’s Kerouac Time Again: Jack Meets Joe McCarthy

        One essay that has never been published, not even in a volume titled The Unknown Kerouac is about the Army-McCarthy which were televised in 1954 and that held the nation’s rapt attention week after week. Kerouac watched the hearings, took notes and typed them up. They’re in the Kerouac collection at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street. I’ve read them and found them fascinating and troubling, too. Kerouac never met McCarthy face-to-face; their encounter was only “virtual,” though in 1954 the word wasn’t used as it is today.

        Kerouac’s notes on the Army-McCarthy show how challenging it is to pinpoint Kerouac politically. During his lifetime, he was all over the ideological map, attending communist party meetings in the 1940s and expressing a desire to join his Russian comrades and fight against fascism. “Had a little discussion with a few Reds,” he wrote in April 1941.The following year, he told a young woman, “I wish to take part in this war, not because I want to kill anyone, but for a reason directly opposed to killing—the Brotherhood. To be with my American brothers, for that matter, my Russian brothers.” Joe McCarthy would have called him a “fellow traveler,” a “pinko” and a “Commie symp.”

      • [TruthOut] Biden’s Immigration “Fix” Involves Jailing Migrants in Their Homes
      • [Common Dreams] ‘The Fight Goes On’: Cisneros Supporters Prepare for Runoff

        “It’s clear that voters are tired of corporate-backed politicians like Henry Cuellar who don’t work for them.”

        “We’ll be focused on talking to South Texas voters about how Jessica is going to fight for healthcare for all, create good-paying union jobs, and a humane immigration system.”

      • [Common Dreams] Progressives Urge Biden to Use Executive Power to ‘Deliver for the People’

        Following President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, a chorus of progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups—frustrated that Biden’s legislative agenda has ground to a halt thanks to opposition from the GOP and a handful of corporate Democrats—urged the White House to use its executive authority to the fullest possible extent to improve the lives of working people and secure a livable planet.

        “While we continue building support in Congress, President Biden can use his executive power to take action right now to deliver for the people.”

      • [Common Dreams] Progressives Applaud as Casar Wins Big, Cisneros Forces Runoff With Cuellar

        Former Austin City Council member Greg Casar handily won the Democratic primary for an open seat in Texas’ 35th Congressional District on Tuesday while progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros forced Rep. Henry Cuellar—a corporate-funded Democrat under FBI investigation—into a runoff contest in the state’s 28th district.

        “Our campaign has built a movement of working people, from San Antonio to Austin, who are ready to fight.”

      • [TruthOut] Democratic Socialist Greg Casar Wins Primary in Progressive Texas District
      • [The Nation] Build Back Never

        In 2021, when President Joe Biden delivered his first joint address to Congress, in-person attendance was drastically cut back, capping the number of attendees at 200. This year, Capitol Hill dropped its mask mandate ahead of the speech and invited all 535 members of Congress to attend the State of the Union address. But the changes didn’t make the scene feel any less strange. Lawmakers still couldn’t bring guests. Some announced “virtual” guests, who would watch the address from home while their hosts watched from the House chamber.

      • [Counter Punch] Joe Manchin’s America: the Resurgence of the “Culture of Poverty” Debate

        Paired with Manchin’s moralizing and obstruction when it comes to President Biden’s Build Back Better Bill because he “cannot accept our economy, or basically our society, moving towards an entitlement mentality,” his new legislation is more evidence that he privileges rich donors over actual constituents in West Virginia and is truly willing to punish the poor. He’s claimed that families in his state would use money from the Child Tax Credit to buy drugs, that work requirements rather than more resources will lift poor kids out of poverty, and that, as the Huffington Post reported, “Americans would fraudulently use the proposed paid sick leave policy, specifically saying people would feign being sick and go on hunting trips.”

        All of this represents a painful return to the “culture of poverty” debates of the 1960s. Indeed, despite being discredited by scholars and poverty experts over and over since its invention, such anti-poor propaganda seems to rear its head whenever popular opinion and public action might actually lead to improvements in the lives of poor and low-income people.

      • [The Nation] “Culture of Poverty” Is a Made-Up Concept

        As if killing the Child Tax Credit, blocking voting rights, gutting key climate legislation, and refusing living wages wasn’t enough, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is now promoting legislation that further punishes the poor and marginalized. Along with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he’s introduced the PIPES Act, which undercuts key harm-reduction funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. It arrives with a media campaign launched by Fox News and other conservative outlets pushing bogus claims that the Biden administration is using government funds to buy “crack pipes,” tapping into a decades-long campaign to scapegoat vulnerable populations rather than address the root causes of the unconscionable conditions under which they live.

      • [The Nation] Black Lily
      • [The Nation] Why Gerrymandering Keeps Me Up at Night

        With the November midterm elections looming and the announcement of more and more Democrats’ deciding not to run for reelection, I have grave concerns about the balance of power in Congress and, quite frankly, our democracy. The Republican Party has steadfastly become the party of “no,” obstructing Democratic attempts at legislation in order to make Joe Biden a president with little to no victories, no matter how good they might have been for the American people, regardless of party affiliation. Even with the threat of a Republican-controlled Congress come this November, what keeps me up are the extreme gerrymandering efforts of Republican governors and state legislatures across the country.

      • [The Nation] Banning the Hijab Targets Muslim Women

        The first time Nidha Parveen realized that her choice to wear the hijab could be a point of contention was when she moved to New Delhi to attend university. Having been brought up and schooled in the southern state of Kerala, where Muslims make up more than a quarter of the population, she was not used to being interrogated about her reasons for covering her head. “I could feel the othering on a day-to-day basis,” she tells The Nation. “In the beginning I used to answer the questions, but at a certain point I stopped, because I understood that they wanted me to say that it was a form of oppression.”

      • [Pro Publica] Trump Just Endorsed an Oath Keeper’s Plan to Seize Control of the Republican Party

        Former President Donald Trump has officially endorsed a plan, created by a man who has self-identified with the Oath Keeper militia, that aims to have Trump supporters consolidate control of the Republican Party.

        The plan, known as the “precinct strategy,” has been repeatedly promoted on Steve Bannon’s popular podcast. As ProPublica detailed last year, it has already inspired thousands of people to fill positions at the lowest rung of the party ladder. Though these positions are low-profile and often vacant, they hold critical powers: They help elect higher-ranking party officers, influence which candidates appear on the ballot, turn out voters on Election Day and even staff the polling precincts where people vote and the election boards that certify the results.

      • [RTL] Georgia to apply ‘immediately’ for EU membership

        Georgia will “immediately” apply for EU membership, the Black Sea nation’s ruling party said Wednesday, a day after the European Parliament backed war-torn Ukraine’s bid to apply for EU membership.

        The ruling Georgian Dream party chairman, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced the party’s “decision today to immediately apply for the EU membership”.

      • [The Verge] Russia holds OneWeb rocket launch hostage, issues conditional demands

        In its latest response to international sanctions and growing geopolitical tensions, Russia’s state space corporation, Roscosmos, is making a list of demands of its customer OneWeb before it agrees to launch the company’s upcoming mission this week. OneWeb’s satellites were scheduled to take off on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket on March 5th in Kazakhstan, but in light of these new demands, it seems likely that launch will not take place.

        In a video posted to Twitter, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, outlined in an interview that he wants assurances from OneWeb that the company’s satellites will not be used for military purposes. Roscosmos also demanded that the British government, which is a primary shareholder in OneWeb, divest its stake in the company. If these demands aren’t met, Roscosmos says it will roll back the Soyuz rocket, and the launch won’t take place as planned.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • [Techdirt] Russia Follows Up Ukraine Invasion By Demanding US Social Media Companies Stop Fact-Checking Russian Government Content

        Here comes The Motherland, insisting that no one allow anything to undermine its “LET’S INVADE UKRAINE” narrative. Russia, which has never taken a hands-off approach to content moderation, is demanding US companies stop fucking with its plans for world domination. Here’s Patrick Tucker with the details for Defense One.

      • [The Economist] Ukraine’s meme war with Russia is no laughing matter

        Even before the outbreak of fighting Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was one of the most followed heads of state. His 13.5m-strong (and rising) Instagram following is the fifth-biggest of any world leader (the top four are the heads of India, Indonesia, Brazil and America, countries with populations between five and 30 times as large as Ukraine’s). Mr Zelensky posts dozens of tweets most days, in Ukrainian and English, tagging other national leaders and getting retweets from their followers.

        Mr Zelensky, a former actor whose roles included an ordinary man who became president by accident, ran his election campaign almost entirely online in 2019, causing journalists to complain about his lack of availability for interviews. His rolling series of YouTube videos that treated the campaign like a reality-TV documentary left some wondering if he was ready for the job. In fact his honing of accessible, shareable clips has turned out to be an ideal preparation for what has followed.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • [Techdirt] Federal Court Rejects Former US Ambassador’s Attempt To Sue Google Over Things Telegram Users May Or May Not Have Posted

        People feeling ways about stuff continue to file stupid lawsuits against all and sundry because, well, we have a pretty open court system (which is good!) and not enough lawyers willing to tell people their stupid lawsuits are unwinnable (not great!). [For everything else, there’s pro se.]

      • [Techdirt] John Oliver Explains How FOSTA (And Lots Of Other Policies To ‘Help’ Sex Work) Has Backfired Badly

        For not the first time, John Oliver is taking on topics we often cover at Techdirt, and doing a fantastic job of it. His latest show went deep on just how screwed up laws and law enforcement about sex work are, including a specific look at FOSTA.

      • [Techdirt] DirecTV, Roku Give RT The Boot

        DirecTV has announced that the company will be removing Russian government-backed news outlet RT from the company’s satellite TV lineup in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to a company statement, DirecTV was already contemplating ditching RT and other channels from the company’s lineup in a bid to lower costs, and simply expedited the decision.

      • [The Telegraph UK] Ceramic artist Claudia Clare in cancel culture row after her arts college talk is axed

        The decision has sparked uproar with some 60 ceramic artists, potters and curators writing to the CPA demanding Ms Clare’s talk be reinstated and accusing it of “giving in” to threats.

        Now she plans to take legal action, claiming she has been discriminated against because of her gender-critical beliefs, which were found by a High Court judge last year to be protected by the 2010 Equality Act.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • [Techdirt] Very, Very Bad Ideas: Ukraine Asks ICANN To Disconnect Russia From The Internet

        Much of the world is, correctly, standing up against Russia following its despicable invasion of Ukraine as part of Vladimir Putin’s power-mad fever dream. And in response there are lots of questions about how different companies are looking to punish, sanction, or limit Russian access to goods and services. Some of the ideas make sense. Some of them don’t. And some of them are incredibly dangerous. In the extremely dangerous territory is Ukrainian officials reaching out to ICANN on Monday and asking it to disconnect Russia from the internet, revoking domains issued in Russia and shutting down DNS servers in Russia.

      • [Techdirt] After Going Bankrupt For Underinvesting In Fiber, Frontier Communications Pretends It Has Seen The Light

        We’ve long discussed how if you really want to understand how the highly monopolistic U.S. broadband industry really works, you should look at regional phone monopoly Frontier Communications. Especially in states like West Virginia, where the company has spent decades lagging on fundamental fiber upgrades, or DSL and phone repairs under a regime of regulatory capture that never holds them accountable for fiber under-investment, outright ripping off taxpayers, or failing to adhere to even basic quality standards.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • [Rolling Stone] It Took Him 15 Minutes to Make a Hit — and Seven Months to Reclaim It

          What happened next has become increasingly common in the modern music industry. Moore uploaded the chorus on TikTok, where it started to attract interest, so he finished the song, titled it “Dash,” and put it on SoundCloud in August. Within two days, Moore says the track accumulated more than 50,000 plays, and labels started to call him. But as the rapper sped towards a professional music career, he was brought to a screeching halt. He didn’t own all the rights to the “Dash” beat — Moore had pulled it off the [Internet], recorded over it and released it without ever thinking it would reach a wide audience — so he could not officially release it.

        • [Torrent Freak] Brazzers Owner Awarded $36.5m in ‘YesPornPlease’ Copyright Lawsuit

          In February 2020, MG Premium, part of the Mindgeek adult empire, sued unlicensed porn ‘tube’ site YesPornPlease and affiliate VShare.io. Both platforms soon went offline but after more than two years of legal proceedings, a court has now awarded MG Premium $36.5 million in copyright damages. It claimed to have lost more than $727 million.

        • [Torrent Freak] Yout.com Challenges Site Blocking in Peru, Strands in Spain

          Popular stream-ripping site Yout.com continues to appeal various site blocking measures around the world. In Peru, the court agreed that ISPs are no longer required to block since the precautionary injunction expired. However, ISPs have yet to lift the blockade. Meanwhile, in Spain, the Supreme Court denied hearing Yout’s appeal.

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